I jumped at the chance to write an article that looks at the odds of the Hearing Protection Act passing—and what the legislation is doing to prices right now—when the pros at the NRA asked. The article, “When Will the Hearing Protection Act Pass,” appeared on ShootingIllustrated.com on Feb. 13. In what appears to be a clear gun article copyright violation/theft, it materialized on Weapons Tricks & Tips on Feb. 20—the complete article, word for word, no Guy Sagi byline, no mention of the company that paid me to write it, and it even includes a photo that belongs to Shooting Illustrated.
The contract is pretty specific. The NRA gets to publish first, then rights for the words revert back to me to hawk to other publishers. Good luck on that now. A copyright violator has compromised my bottom line on the article, which required painstaking double checks of legislative facts/strategy. And the landscape changes more often than underwear in Congress and the Senate.
News to the Magazine
It was news to the editor in chief at Shooting Illustrated and he turned the issue over to the legal department. There’s no contact information on the pirate website. Comments are disabled. As a result, I can’t complain directly, even if the culprit is a 16-year-old pimply pizza delivery kid who doesn’t know better.
My good friend Richard Mann, who writes for dozens of magazines and runs Empty-Cases, spotted another of his stories there. It was news to him, too, as well as the publishers of Guns and Ammo. Actually, another writer made the initial discovery. Honestly, if you’re not keeping up with Richard’s work, you’re missing out on some great stuff. His many fans keep him appraised of this kind of theft, thankfully. I’d try to woo a few of them over to my dark side, but it’d never work.
I did a WhoIs search to find he owner, but a privacy company prevents direct contact. My complaint is supposed to be forwarded, but I haven’t heard back. If I do, in all fairness, I’ll update this blog. I also got a hold of the company that hosts the website. Once again, no answer in that country changing hopscotch harder to master than whack-a-mole.
Gun Article Copyright Violation/Theft
Unfortunately, stuff like this happens every minute (maybe second) of the day. Some people, perhaps in this case, too, don’t know any better. Others are outright cyber thieves.
The best writers and photographers pour over the details and try to make them easy to swallow. Easy to read, understandable and enjoyable isn’t an accident. Getting the light and gear right isn’t by chance. Add Photoshop time and attractive photos are a manpower black hole.
And it’s enthusiasts of every flavor who ultimately pay the price. Guy J. Sagi watermarks on photos are annoying and diminishing the value of decent writing only paints a bleak, press-release-only future as the pros lose work. Manufacturers don’t care who uses their photos, within reason, so enjoy everything on white when it happens.
I’ll keep you up to date on what I hear, but don’t hold your breath. In the meantime, if you have any ideas on my next move leave a comment, or two. Make sure you put anyone else’s writing in quotes, limit your citations to two sentences, provide proper attribution and watermark photos.